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This year’s theme which was picked out by the seniors is “legacy”. If I am honest, I wasn’t fully grasping this concept back in June when I first arrived. It sounded cool but I didn’t fully immerse myself in the theme. I wasn’t fully supportive or bought in yet to the idea.
I knew that was going to be the theme for the school and that was fine. But I was on a mission the past few months of finding the true need for us to focus on for the school year. What was the one thing I could set my sights on trying to improve? Based on my observations during the first three weeks, my initial thought was professionalism. If I can just train them to be more professional, it would solve many of our problems. I have had many planned and unplanned conversations with various people over the past few months. Like, in the book of Ester, I believe the Lord was behind each of these conversations because without fail, there was one word that kept coming up and it was Accountability.
This one word has far reaching ramifications and possibilities. Ironically, I already begun reading a book called “Good Authority” in which the author discusses the need for accountability and how as leaders we can accomplish that through an accountability dial.
I want to define what our working definition for accountability will be for the year. “Accountability is nothing more and nothing less than having the courage to demand that the people who work with you use their strengths in a responsible way. The purpose of this accountability is to help people take ownership of their strengths not point out their weaknesses.”
The implications of this is that as much as I hold you accountable that you hold me accountable and that we carry this same concept to our students. Despite what people believe, accountability is and should not be a negative thing. It is not meant to be punishment. If done properly, it will be a positive thing. Accountability can be a profound mirror and a great teacher for all poeple
It means having hard conversations but in the right spirit and with the right heart. Over the year, I will be implementing the use of the accountability
The Mention - In real-time (if possible), pull them aside to offer an observation about undesired behavior. Casual check-in
The Invitation - Provide 2-3 examples of how that behavior pattern or theme they can work on. Quick private chat
The Conversation - It’s urgent and you need to clearly state that it’s causing problems. Serious conversation about the issue
The Boundary - A warning conversation in which consequences are discussed
The Limit - This will be the time in which we will probably need to part ways. It is the last chance.
These same principles can, should, and will be applied to our students. I had an opportunity yesterday to meet with an ABF for some questions and answers. The topic came up and I was honest that I don’t take well to threats from parents about pulling their kid out of our school. At the end of the day, I want the students that God wants here and ultimately if we are not a good fit for them or we stop being a good fit then it is time that we part ways.
If I am going to have that standard for students, then I must have the same standard for staff. In some ways, it is good that I dont have the background knowledge that that comes with knowing all of you. It is a fresh start.